How Strength Training Could Improve Your Daily Life
Over the years, researchers have made compelling arguments on the benefits of weight lifting for people of all ages and gender. Yet, the number of women who do strength training remains quite low. Only one fifth of females do any form of resistance training two or more times a week. Those who exercise regularly mostly concentrate on cardiovascular workouts and spend less time using resistance to challenge their bodies.
The truth is weight training can be intimidating for women. Perhaps you’ve even picked up a barbell or done some dumbbell curls and got a taste of just how hard resistance training can be. Maybe you’ve also heard the horror stories such as how lifting weights leads to joint degeneration, makes women bulk up in unfeminine ways, and that once you bulk up you can’t stop lifting because all that muscle will turn into fat.
All these are misconceptions that keep too many women from experiencing the benefits of resistance training. It’s time to put all that fear aside and discover how strength training could improve your daily life.
You’ll Be a Stronger Woman
Whether women choose to lift weights or perform body weight exercises, any form of resistance training leads to increased strength. Researchers have found that moderate strength training can increase strength levels in females by 30 to 50 percent. Needless to say, having more strength will make you less dependent on others for assistance with daily living. With more strength, chores will become easier and tasks such as lifting groceries, kids, and laundry will no longer push you to the limit.
Strength Training Will Help You Stay Lean and Bring Out Your Curves
For women, cardio is considered the holy grail of fat loss. However, it’s important to build lean mass because muscle helps to burn additional calories all day long and while you’re sleeping.
Research reports published by Wayne Westcott from the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts concluded that females who do strength training at least 2 to 3 times a week for 2 months gain 2 pounds of muscle and lose 3.5 pounds of fat. As muscle increases, so does your resting metabolism, allowing you to burn calories all day long even when not exercising.
The fear of developing bulging muscles due to resistance training turns off many women. But unlike men, women don’t gain size from strength training. The reason for this is that compared to men, women have 10-30 times less of hormones that stimulate muscular growth. That said, however, lifting weights or doing other forms of resistance training improves muscle tone in women and that’s the single most effective way to feel confident about personal appearance.
The following are other ways in which strength training will improve your daily life.
- Decreased risk of back pain
- Improved posture
- Better quality of sleep
- Less stress and depression
Strength training offers many other benefits for both men and women other than those listed above. With this form of exercise, you can reach all your fitness goals and even at a faster rate than performing cardio exercises alone. By including weight lifting or bodyweight resistance exercises in your workout routines, you’ll be well on your way to improving your daily quality of life.
Can Strength Training Help Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease and Diabetes?
Individuals with a family history of heart disease and diabetes are usually advised to use exercise as a tool for helping prevent these 2 chronic diseases. Typically, focus is placed on aerobic and HIIT exercises, and all the while overlooking strength training, which is a highly beneficial form of exercise when it comes to the prevention of heart disease and diabetes. Let’s take a quick look at why strength training is more effective at lowering risk of heart disease and diabetes than other forms of exercise.
Strength Training and Diabetes
When performing powerful movements during strength training sessions, the body dips into its glycogen reserves and synthesizes glucose. The fast twitch muscles used during weightlifting rely on this process in order to meet the current energy demand. Therefore, the more hours a week you spend performing strength training exercises, the more sugar you burn. This is highly beneficial when it comes to lowering risk of diabetes since excess blood sugar is one of the primary causes of the illness.
Regular weight training leads to bigger muscles and bigger muscles in turn can store more excess blood sugar than smaller ones. So, the more muscle percentage you have, the more tolerant your body is to sugar, which means the lower your risk of developing diabetes.
Strength Training and Heart Disease
When you engage in any form of moderately intense strength training routine, you get your heart rate up and keep it there. This causes the heart to work harder which in turn forces it to become healthier and strong enough to handle the extra pressure. A strong healthy heart reduces risk of high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels both of which are risk factors associated with heart disease. What’s more, strength training has been shown to have favorable effects on metabolism, muscular strength, endurance, and psychosocial well-being. These are some of the main factors, which are known to affect heart health. Regular strength training also leads to a leaner body, which in itself means a lower risk of heart disease.
Strength training is a powerful deterrent of diabetes and heart disease. And the best part is that you no longer have to spend ridiculous hours on this form of exercise to enjoy its risk lowering benefits.
Conducted studies show that as little 1 hour/week of strength training can reduce diabetes risk by up to 12%. This goes to show that you can keep the intensity and frequency of your strength training routines at a comfortable level to you and still enjoy significant benefits. Additionally, it’s important to note that while strength training on its own reduces diabetes and heart disease risk, combining it with aerobic exercise delivers even better results. So, simply follow an aerobic and strength training incorporated workout routine regularly and you’ll be well on your way to avoiding diabetes and heart disease.